“I Speak Chicken”

Day 27 of 365

It was a bit of journey to go get the baby chicks that were intended for Kate. I had to drive about an hour and a half each way, so I asked my son, who is 12, to go with me for the trip–and to help with the box of chicks on the way home. I knew their crying in the car would make it difficult for me to drive. I am not a fan of driving anyway.

Some context on my kiddo: He’s not a huge fan of the farming life in general. When he was very little, he seemed to love it. On his first day of pre-school and then again for Kindergarten, we did the little board kids hold for a picture with a statement about what they want to be when they grow up. For those two years, he wanted to be “a farmer” and then it was “a farmer and a scientist.”

Then, when he was 7 years old, he started playing cello. One night, as we tucked him into bed, he started to cry. When we asked him what was wrong, he said he didn’t want to disappoint us but that he didn’t want to be a farmer like daddy when he grew up. He wanted to be a cellist. Of course, we explained he certainly did not have to be a farmer.

In the years that followed, we discovered he didn’t like chickens once their “poop got big,” didn’t really like dirt, and had a pretty big aversion to insects. These things are definitely problematic for life on the farm. Of course, you gotta let your kids be who they are, but on the inside, I’m always a little sad when my friends share stories of their kiddos raising chickens, milking goats, driving tractors, and just being overall little homesteaders.

Of late, he’s been going through big stuff, mostly the stuff of growing up in a mad world, I think. His generation has so much on their shoulders, I feel. He’s fairly sheltered since he’s homeschooled, but he’s very smart and also an empath. He’s aware of the world, and it takes a bit of a toll on him.

I brought snacks, the Beatles CDs, and thought the road trip to get the baby chickens could be fun break from the routine. It was. On the way home, he held the baby chicks, and, as expected, they cried.

“What can I do?” he asked.

“Talk to them like a mama hen does,” I said.

“What does a mama hen say?”

“They purr. Hey, you can roll your R’s really well from all of those language classes. Roll your R’s for them.”

So he did. He turned it into kind of singing, and you know what happened? They sang back!

For about an hour on the trip back home, that kiddo sang and talked to those baby chicks, and they sang and talked right back.

“I think this is something I can put on my resume. I speak chicken,” he said.

“You speak chicken quite well apparently,” I told him.

For real, when I saw that the baby chicks were kind of rejecting Kate, which was leading to her rejection of them, I had to wonder if somehow they were hoping for my kiddo’s songs. I am sure that’s not the case, but it turns out they are going to be getting my kiddo’s songs anyway.

It was between the hours of about 6:30 and 7:30 AM on Saturday that I kept trying with Kate and the baby chicks. Of course, you get to the point where you realize you are pushing your luck, and you don’t want the mama hen to accidentally kill the babies. So I pulled them all, as you know if you read my post yesterday.

My son was still asleep during all of this, but when he woke up that morning, I met him with a chicken book and a coffee milk.

“Congratulations, you’re a parent!” I said.

I explained the situation, and he seemed great with the idea of helping me. In my long day yesterday of getting a brooder set up for the babies, that kid helped me the whole way, carried the heavy stuff and helped me with the drill. It’s going to be a journey. It’s been several years since we raised a brood of chicks by hand, as it’s always easier when a mama hen does all of the work.

But there are pros to raising them by hand. You get to be closer to them, and they are closer to you. Plus, it can be good for the soul for an empath living in a mad world.

2 thoughts on ““I Speak Chicken”

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